The Piña Colada-Inspired Upgrade You Need For Tasty Grilled Pineapple

When Memorial Day hits, summer-loving people take to the grill. A lot of foods are absolutely delicious when grilled: eggplant, steak, asparagus, shrimp, corn — the list goes on (but maybe steer clear of grilling bacon). Fruit is an underappreciated category when it comes to grilling, but throwing certain fruits over an open flame is an amazing way to caramelize their natural sugars, making them even sweeter and juicier. One of the best fruits to prepare this way is pineapple. A fresh, ripe, in-season pineapple is a wonder to behold on its own, but when it kisses a hot grill, a whole new flavor sensation is unlocked.


If you've already discovered the glory of grilled pineapple, you know what we're talking about. However, there's an easy way to take this sweet, summer delicacy over-the-top. You can make your pineapple taste like a piña colada by soaking it in rum before grilling.

If you like piña coladas, you'll love this grilled pineapple

You always want to use fresh pineapple for grilling, rather than canned or frozen. Slicing up the whole fruit can be a little tricky, but luckily there are some easy hacks for cutting pineapple with ease. Remove the skin and slice the pineapple into long spears or rings, so there's no risk of it falling through the slats of your grill. A quick glaze of butter and cinnamon will bring out pineapple's delectable sweet flavor, or you can just brush on a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt to lean into pineapple's more tart and savory notes.


A piña colada is a classic Puerto Rican cocktail traditionally made of rum, pineapple juice and coconut cream. To get your grilled pineapple to piña colada-level deliciousness, soak the spears or rings in rum before grilling. Dark rum is ideal for this preparation since it's been aged in oak barrels, making it rich and caramelly. If you want to go for authenticity, you could even reach for the rum that was used in the original piña colada. Add brown sugar and cinnamon for a little extra sweetness and warmth, or to get a hint of coconut flavor, brush the slices with coconut oil.

How to enjoy piña colada-inspired grilled pineapple

This piña colada-style grilled pineapple is good enough to eat on its own, but you can take it up another notch by topping it with coconut-infused whipped cream and grating a bit of lime zest over the top. Or make it a truly decadent dessert by topping with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. You can also take the pineapple in a savory direction by eliminating the sugar glaze and just soaking the slices in rum before grilling. Sprinkle with a little cayenne or hot sauce, then use the rum-soaked pineapple slices as a burger topping. Hey, your pineapple, your rules.


An additional option is to get meta with it, and use your piña colada-style grilled pineapple to make piña coladas. Soak the pineapple slices with the rum-sugar mixture, grill 'em up, then let them cool completely. Chop up the slices, add them to a blender with rum, coconut cream, a touch of lime juice, and sugar to taste, then blend with ice until smooth. If you take a batch of these slightly smoky, caramel-sweet piña coladas to the cookout, you'll be the talk of the barbecue!